Dog Training FAQ

What are your credentials?

I am Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior (IAABC). Earning my CDBC means I have met the highest national standards for the care of dogs with behavior concerns.  

I'm a certified training partner (CTP) through the Karen Pryor Academy. KPA CTPs have demonstrated a high level of technical knowledge and hands-on skill both training canines and teaching people. 
Studies involved in dog training are ever-changing. Making sure that I am up to date on the latest scientific research on canine cognition is not only essential to continuing to growing as a trainer, but my certifications holds me accountable for staying up to date.

What methods do you use to train?

We strive for learner-centered, minimally stressful, and thoughtful training sessions with all species. We only use gentle methods based on the most current dog training and behavior science.

Positive reinforcement is the most humane way to achieve these attributes, and it works faster than other training methods because it increases the odds of the dog learning the skills required.

Read more about how to find an ethical trainer here.

Why don't you use physical punishment or corrective collars to train dogs?

We know that punishment or force is not needed to change behavior nor be productive for long-term reliable results, well-adjusted dogs, or healthy relationships. In fact, it usually makes things much worse. 
Why “Red Zone Dogs” Need Positive Reinforcement Training.

Our methods are informed by the most current research and expert consensus. AVSAB Position Statement on Humane Dog Training. 

Do you offer packages?

Sure! We offer packaging for our behavior modification services.
You can meet with Jennifer first and get an adjusted rate if additional sessions are scheduled.

You can see our package options here.

Will you work with dogs of any breed, age and size? 

We work with all types of dogs!  Whether you’ve got a rescue dog or a purebreed, big or small, floofy or short-coated, we’ve got you covered. We work with puppies, dogs who just need some manners or want to learn tricks, and dogs with behavior issues.

P.S. We also work with people of any breed, age, and size!

Do you work with aggressive, fearful or challenging dogs? 

Most likely, yes. During any given week, most of the dogs we work with display behavior that fits these labels. If your dog has bitten a person, harmed an animal or is very uncomfortable around strangers, we may meet virtually the first session. We'll also give you some safety homework before we meet in person.Over the course of our sessions together, we'll identify the root cause of the behavior concerns, and create a customized plan to improve the situation. This plan will involve a range of interventions including training, relationship-building, enrichment, play skills, behavior modification, as well as creating predictable structure for your dog. We may add your vet or a vet behaviorist to our team. From assessing your dog's health to prescribing psychotropic medication (if beneficial), these pros play a very important role in the treatment of behavior concerns.

What can I expect at the behavior consultation?

During this 90 minute session with Jennifer Thornburg, CDBC, we will
  • Review your dog’s behavior history
  • Identify your training goals and their impact
  • Discuss the training and behavior modification process
  • Implement enrichment, management and prevention solutions to provide immediate relief
  • Discuss next steps 
  • Personalized training plan sent after the session

    Read more about what to expect here: Your Behavior Consultation with Good Human Dog Training

Do all dogs need a behavior consultation?

No. If your goals are basic house manners or polite leash walking and you aren’t seeing reactivity in the form of lunging, barking, snapping, biting, hiding, cowering, excessive pulling, or destructive behavior, then you might just need basic training. 

If you see fearful, aggressive, or reactive behaviors or any excessive behavior, then a behavior consultation is for you. If you’re still unsure, contact us and ask

How long does it take to work through behavior issues?

It depends on factors such as your dog's behavior, how long it has occured, the time you have for training, and so on. We don't offer guarantees on timelines because you and your dog are individuals! Sometimes, one consultation gives you the information you need to work through an issue. Other times, we may work together over the course of months.
Read more about how to find an ethical trainer here.

Can you guarantee that my dog will be trained after our lesson?

Working with a dog trainer or behavior consultant is a lot like hiring a personal trainer to help you get in shape. A personal trainer can show you what exercises work best for your goals, but if you aren’t able to follow through with the training plan and do not make any changes to your daily habits, reaching your fitness goals will not happen. 

We can guarantee that if you follow our plan and work with your dog consistently, you will see changes in behavior. 

Can you train my dog for me? 

Teamwork makes the dream work!
We believe the bond between a dog and their owner is one of the most important aspects of training. This close bond makes it possible for you to communicate with your dog and for your dog to joyfully learn. We’re part of your team too! We can give you the skills to train your dog using only the least invasive, scientifically, and ethically sound training methods. And, if you get stuck on a particular behavior or skill, we can help!

Note: We offer day training for those local to Winston-Salem, NC. 

Do you teach group classes?

I would love to teach group classes! I miss them so much.
Can you help me find a space to teach them?

I think my dog has separation anxiety? Can you help?

We can work with mild cases and help to prevent it puppies but we refer the more clearly defined cases to the specialists. There are trainers who only work with separation-related behavior in dogs. They are experienced in handling these delicate cases efficiently and effectively. And they do it virtually!
We love: Pamela at DogEvolve and Stacey at Focused Fun are my picks! Both provide virtual coaching.

You can train dogs, sure. But tell me about your leash-side manner.

The best dog trainers are people trainers. We’re good at both!
The laws of learning also apply to all species, including humans. We know that people learn best through fun and success. Working with a different species can be challenging enough without the trainer adding to the stress. We will make training as agreeable as can be by breaking down behaviors and tasks into small, easy steps.
And, if you are an anxious learner, we also have methods to facilitate learning in people.

What's your #1 dog training tip?

Catch your dog doing it right!
Too often, we focus on what they do wrong. How often do we ignore our dogs when they quietly lie at our feet or play with one of their toys? We don’t notice because it doesn’t bother us. However, the minute the dog grabs our shoe or comes over to hassle us, they get all our attention. Reward the behavior you like, and you will get more of it!

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